Christopher Mccandless: A Tragic Hero

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Christopher McCandless, the protagonist of the novel and film Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, is not your average guy. Driven by his minimalist ideals and hate for society, he challenged the status quo and embarked on a journey that eventually lead to his unforeseen demise. A tragic hero, defined by esteemed writer, Arthur Miller, is a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on tragedy. Christopher McCandless fulfills the role of Miller’s tragic hero due to the fact that his tragic flaw of minimalism and aversion towards society had lead him to his death. In the beginning, McCandless starts his adventure by cutting himself off from all the human connections he had. He severs all ties from his family, including his sister which whom he was previously very close to. He burns his social security card, changes his name, and decides to travel across the country. Throughout his journey, Christopher often accounts for his parent’s wrongdoings for the reasons why he wanted to run away to Alaska. He subsists with a minimalist lifestyle and is disappointed in his parents’ behaviors and their materialism. In a letter penned to Wayne Westerberg, McCandless writes, “My days were more exciting when I was penniless” (Krakauer 33). He gets a thrill out of not knowing what will come his way each day. Being “penniless” furthers the sense of uncertainty. He even argues that, “Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future” (Krakauer 40). In a way, everyday is a new adventure for Chris. This is why not only did he …show more content…

As investigator Ken Sleight stated, “That’s what is great about him. He tried. Not many do” (Krakauer 67). He lived out his dreams and in the end, his journey is what killed him, forever making him a tragic

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